KC Royals: Nothing doing this time, Miguel Cabrera
For once, Miguel Cabrera didn’t pick on the KC Royals.
Instead, the KC Royals picked on him.
Cabrera, the Detroit Tiger who’s made the Royals miserable for most of his 19-year major league career, had a chance Saturday night to do to them what he’s done so many times before, and did as recently as Friday evening when his grand slam and another homer destroyed them.
And here he was less than 24 hours later, standing in the Kauffman Stadium batter’s box amid a scene feeling eerily like the night before. Just like Friday, the bases were loaded for Cabrera in the seventh inning with his team trailing, and the Tigers had driven Kansas City’s starter—Brady Singer this time—out of the game.
Singer was guarding a 6-3 Kansas City lead but walked Akil Baddoo with one out. Not wanting to see another game get away late, manager Mike Matheny pulled Singer in favor of Scott Barlow. But Barlow only made things worse, surrendering a single to Robbie Grossman and walking Harold Castro to load the bases.
Barlow then got down to business. He struck out Jeimer Candelario looking on a 3-2 slider for the second out.
The stage was perfectly set for Miguel Cabrera to break the KC Royals’ hearts
That brought Cabrera to the plate. If immediate past was immediate prologue, he had the Royals right where he wanted them, on the brink of a second straight gut-wrenching defeat at his hands.
He worked Barlow to 3-1 before whiffing at a high-90s fastball. The made the count full, the very same jam Greg Holland found himself in Friday evening before Cabrera ruined his, and Kansas City’s, night with a grand slam.
For a change, though, this night didn’t belong to Cabrera; Barlow was having none of another slam. Instead, his slider—ironically, the same pitch Cabrera turned against Holland the night before—caught Cabrera looking, and the Royals escaped the inning.
The Tigers scared the Royals again in the ninth, but closer Josh Staumont recovered from a shaky start to the frame (he gave up a two-run homer to Robbie Grossman and allowed five of Detroit’s first six batters to reach base) before striking out the final two hitters to preserve the 7-5 Royal win.
While Kansas City’s offense banged out 10 hits and scored enough runs to win, Andrew Benintendi kept his bat hot with a 2-for-3 performance, and Singer won his second game of the season and struck out six in his 6.1 innings, silencing Cabrera stood out. After a 3-for-5, two-homer, five-RBI Friday, KC pitchers allowed him just a single Saturday night and struck him out twice.
It was the second “K,” that 3-2 slider he watched go by, that was the sweetest.
The Royals and Detroit face off in the rubber game of their three-game series this afternoon at The K. Kris Bubic (0-0) gets the start for Kansas City and Casey Mize goes for the Tigers. Game time is 1:10 p.m. CDT.